A report from Compare My Move estimates that an alarming £9.7 billion was collectively spent by UK homeowners in 2017 when moving house, with the average homeowner across the nation dishing out £9,580.
Compare My Move is a removal company comparison website that created a Cost of Moving House Calculator using official UK housing data to highlight the hidden costs incurred when moving home. These additional fees included conveyancing, surveying and estate agent fees, Stamp Duty, removal costs and fixed fees. In addition, the impact of the Stamp Duty changes are considered for first-time buyers in each region of the nation.
See how much your move might cost with Compare My Move’s Cost of Moving Calculator.
Of all the UK, the North East has the lowest cost of moving house at £5,058 on average, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (£6,141) and the North West (£6,158), compared to the average owner in England who spent £10,465 in extra fees.
Not surprisingly, London homeowners spent the highest on these extras costs, averaging £28,714 to move house. These high fees also extend to first-time buyers, who pay an additional £7,765 in the moving process.
Scotland and Wales have lower hidden moving costs on average at £6,032 and £6,246, respectively. However, the average property value is significantly lower: Scotland (£172,056) and Wales (£178,185).
Estate Agent Fees
Based on an average estate agency fee of 1.5%, Compare My Move estimated that the average UK home seller paid £3,903 in estate agency fees in 2017.
That’s 41% of the total cost making it by far the most expensive cost when moving house and based on Compare My Move’s estimations for the total cost of moving in 2017, would mean UK home sellers paid out a huge £3,996,165,794 in fees.
While the actual fee was by far the highest in the capital at over £8,000, as a proportion of the total sale it was highest in the North East and West, Scotland and Wales at 43%.
These latest estimates really do highlight the extortionate price charged by the high-street sector and how it accounts for the largest amount of financial strain during an already stressful time. It simply doesn’t make sense that as house prices continue to rise high-street agents see the money they make rise with it, despite doing very little and nothing more to justify it.
When you consider the eye-watering amount of money paid in fees, it’s no wonder the hybrid and online sectors have come to prominence so quickly and successfully in such a short amount of time. The consumer values transparency, fair fees and an agent with a focus on customer service not lining their own pockets.Russell Quirk
Stamp Duty Changes
Although there have been amendments to the Stamp Duty fees with first-time buyers in mind, the average first-time buyer must still pay £1,561 in additional costs. On top of this, some regions have seen little or no impact. Both the North East and Scotland have seen no benefit from the Stamp Duty cut because of the already low property values and the additional moving costs in each region is £1,331 and £1,531, respectively.
The South East of England is the most positively impacted by the Stamp Duty changes because the cost of moving dropped by 64% once this fee was removed for properties under £300,000. Since the cut, first-time buyers have a £1,606 average additional cost of moving home. It is followed by the East of England, which has a 59% saving rate.
With London’s average property price above £300,000 at £419,793, first-time buyers do not get the same benefit as the rest of the UK. There is a 39% saving, but first-time buyers are still paying an average of £7,765 to move home.
It can be particularly daunting for first time buyers, with many saving for years to get their first foot on the property ladder. For them especially, thousands of pounds in unexpected extra costs can be incredibly stressful. And as our figures show, recent Stamp Duty changes haven’t helped first time buyers across every region, meaning it’s as important as ever to be fully aware of extra costs.
There are many ways to reduce costs, including performing conveyancing yourself, and using price comparison websites to compare and save on removal and surveying costs. But most of all it’s best to get informed by using tools such as our calculator.
So get researching, get saving, get planning, and get comparing.